Arts, Television — September 4, 2012 9:36 am

May I Have a Moment to Defend Gilmore Girls?

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Every six months or so I go through a Gilmore Girls phase.  That show is the only thing I could be an expert in… I know every episode so well that I’m confident I can make it through this article without any fact checking what so ever.  Sometimes when I talk about it with even women my own age, I am met with scoffs and rolled eyes as I start talking faster and faster trying to defend my love for the show before they lose interest and walk away.  It’s not a guilty pleasure show.  It’s not even just a mindless comedy- it’s really brilliant, so shut up for a second and listen…

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Some of you have perhaps come to know Gilmore Girls as a show for women about two girls that talk really fast.  But it’s so much more than that.  Gimore Girls is one of the smartest television shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino says the same things over and over in interviews- don’t talk down to your audience!  (Her name might sound familiar because she’s working on Bun Heads right now, which is what initially prompted me to write this article.)  The kitsch of the show lies in the fact that the Gilmore Girls are pop culture encyclopedias.  They can reference any movie or television show, any actor (Dead or alive) and any book at the drop of a dime to fit right into a conversation.   Part of the awesome thing about the show is watching it and trying to understand their references!  It’s like pop up video for ABC Family.

Now, I think of myself as being pretty well equipped when it comes to a knowledge of all the aforementioned types of media- but I had to look up at least two references in each episode back before I knew them all by heart.   A typical Gilmore Girls script is twice the length of your average hour-long dramedy!  Impressive, no?  But it’s not just talking for the sake of talking- they are witty.  Rory (The daughter) is brainy, she reads constantly, but she’s plugged into the cool music and she doesn’t care about the popular kids at her school or chasing boys.  She cares about good movies and good food and traveling.  We should all have been so cool at 16!

This is the kind of show you want to escape to.  Not only are these women beautiful and brainy, but they’re feminists and they’re living in a very idealized town with colorful neighbors that you want so badly to meet.  Although Lorelai (The mom) has no college degree, her and Rory live in a nice house where they are always surrounded by a lot of magazines, lots of clothes, and lots of food.   They always have the latest CDs and although they’re seen talking about money troubles a couple times, it never actually seems to be an issue in their lives.  (I hate this about some shows, but for Gilmore Girls, it feels like such a colorful town that I almost buy it.)

I would be happy to grow up to be like any of the ladies of Gilmore Girls.  Lorelai, who is a “cool mom” always relating to others first as a friend and secondly as a mother, a boss, a daughter, etc.  Or Rory, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, independence, and travel.  Emily, who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it.  Or Lane, the free spirit who questions everything she knows until she feels satisfied that she isn’t doing anything just because she was told.  Women, you’re probably the only ones still reading, so I’ll leave you with one last plea: give it a real chance.  The character development and dialogue may seem elementary, but it’s cult like once you dive in.

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